ICO Decision On PATI & Police Association

December 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

Information Commissioner Gitanjali Gutierrez has upheld the decision of the Police Service that it did not have to transfer a PATI request for meeting minutes to the Police Association, as the Police Association “is not owned or controlled by the Government, and does not receive funding from the government.”

However, the Information Commissioner “found that the Police Service failed to conduct a reasonable search for responsive records, and “required the Police Service to conduct a reasonable search for responsive records and to issue a new initial decision.”

Decision 112018 - Google Chrome 1242018 52809 PM

A spokesperson said, “On 27 November 2018, Information Commissioner Gitanjali Gutierrez issued Decision 11/2018, upholding the decision of the Police Service under the Public Access to Information [PATI] Act 2010 that it did not have to transfer a PATI request for meeting minutes to the Police Association because the Police Association is not a public authority as defined under the PATI Act. The requester sought access to meeting minutes of the Police Association related to the incorporation of a combined allowance into salaries.

“In Decision 11/2018, the Information Commissioner explained that column 1 of the Schedule to the PATI Act defines ‘Public authority’. The definition includes entities established by statute and carrying out functions of a governmental or quasi-governmental nature, as well as entities owned or controlled by the Government or substantially funded by monies authorized by the Legislature.

“The Information Commissioner found that the Police Association, although established by statutory provision, does not carry out governmental or quasi-governmental functions, is not owned or controlled by the Government, and does not receive funding from the government.

“Information Commissioner Gutierrez also ordered the Police Service to conduct a reasonable search to determine if it had possession of these meeting minutes of the Police Association and ‘holds’ the records, within the meaning of section 3[3] the PATI Act. If the Police Service finds that it holds any of the requested records, it must process those records in accordance with the PATI Act.”

The full Information Commissioner’s Decision 11/2018 follows below [PDF here]:

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